Saturday, May 1, 2010

Noah's Ark Found in Turkey?

The expedition team is "99.9 percent" sure. Others, well, aren't.
compiled by
Dr. Nitish Priyadarshi
Near the top of Mount Ararat (seen from Armenia in a file photo) in Turkey, explorers claim to have found Noah's ark.
Photograph by Martin Gray, National Geographic
National Geographic News
Published April 28, 2010
A team of evangelical Christian explorers claim they've found the remains of Noah's ark beneath snow and volcanic debris on Turkey's Mount Ararat (map).
But some archaeologists and historians are taking the latest claim that Noah's ark has been found about as seriously as they have past ones—which is to say not very.
Turkish and Chinese explorers from a group called Noah's Ark Ministries International made the latest discovery claim Monday in Hong Kong, where the group is based.
"It's not 100 percent that it is Noah's ark, but we think it is 99.9 percent that this is it," Yeung Wing-cheung, a filmmaker accompanying the explorers, told The Daily Mail.
The team claims to have found in 2007 and 2008 seven large wooden compartments buried at 13,000 feet (4,000 meters) above sea level, near the peak of Mount Ararat. They returned to the site with a film crew in October 2009.
Many Christians believe the mountain in Turkey is the final resting place of Noah's ark, which the Bible says protected Noah, his family, and pairs of every animal species on Earth during a divine deluge that wiped out most of humanity.
"The structure is partitioned into different spaces," said Noah's Ark Ministries International team member Man-fai Yuen in a statement. "We believe that the wooden structure we entered is the same structure recorded in historical accounts. ... "
The team says radiocarbon-dated wood taken from the discovery site—whose location they're keeping secret for now—shows the purported ark is about 4,800 years old, which coincides roughly with the time of Noah's flood implied by the Bible.
On its Web site, Noah's Ark Ministries International says the Turkish government plans to apply to the United Nations to put the Noah's ark discovery site on the UNESCO World Heritage list, a designation given to places of special cultural or physical significance.
Noah's Ark is the vessel which, according to the Book of Genesis, was built by Noah at God's command to save himself, his family, and the world's animals from a worldwide deluge. The Ark features in the traditions of a number of Abrahamic religions, including Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and others.
The Book of Genesis, chapters 6-9, tells how God sends a great flood to destroy the earth because of man's wickedness and because the earth is corrupt. God tells Noah, the righteous man in his generation, to build a large vessel to save his family and a representation of the world's animals. God gives detailed instructions for the Ark and, after its completion, sends the animals to Noah. God then sends the Flood, which rises until all the mountains are covered, and most living things died, except the fish. Then "God remembered Noah," the waters abate, and dry land reappears. Noah, his family, and the animals leave the Ark, and God vowed to never again send a flood to destroy the Earth.
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